Poor Truck Maintenance Allegedly Causes Brake Failure

    Trucking ExpertThis case involves a paving truck in Arkansas. The truck failed to brake in time and rear-ended a car, killing the driver and parayzing the passenger. The truck had a trailer that was hooked up to the back. Allegedly, the brakes on the trailer failed due to improper harnessing. The brake pads and rotors were replaced multiple times within several weeks.  An expert in truck maintenance was sought to explain whether or not improper maintenance may lead to the increased wear and tear of the brake pads and rotors.


    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • "1. Can improper harnessing of a trailer and subsequent inadequate braking cause rapid wear and tear of brake pads and rotors on the truck?
    • 2. Have you reviewed a similar case? If so, please describe.
    • 3. Have you ever been arrested or sued? If so, under what circumstances and what was the outcome?"

    Expert Witness Response E-174552

    I have been a Utah state certified safety inspector for 18 years and have extensive experience diagnosing and repairing brake systems on different vehicles. For this case, it appears the truck that was pulling the trailer was equipped with disc brakes. Thus, it was equipped with pads and rotors. If the trailer that it was pulling was equipped with electrically operated trailer brakes, then improper harnessing or incorrectly connected wiring between the truck and the trailer could cause the trailer brakes to operate improperly or not at all. That would put an extra burden on the truck brake system because it must slow and stop not only the truck and its load but also the trailer and its load. This could possibly lead to the necessity of having to replace brake hardware and parts more often. However, there may also be a problem in the truck braking system, causing the need for more frequent maintenance and subsequent repairs.

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